Re: Chromey articulation
First, thanks to Mr. Yerxa for his educated response to my question
about choice notes.
As to the question about articulation, perhaps I chose the term
poorly. I didn't mean articulating one note from another, though I now
gather this is the technical harmonica meaning of articulation. Instead I
instead shaping a note, finding the right timbre, resonance, overtones and
whatever other factors apply. It seems I get much better control on the
I mentioned using the tongue, but not so much for blocking as for
finding the right hole faster than my lips normally can. Also, I think I
use a curled up toungue to direct a stream into the low blow notes that
somehow seems less likely to choke them. In other words, I get a sharper
attack and less delay. The problem with tongue-ing this way is, the tongue
itsn't available to shape the note in the way I state above. The result
is more accuracy, better attack--but also a flatter, less fluid tone
quality for a given blow note.
Why it isn't necessary to tongue like this on the draws is not
clear to me. It just doesn't seem as easy to accidentally draw >1 note or
to choke the attack. The only solution I can see is more lip strength and
accurancy (better emburchure or some such?). Remember Fonzie used to do
lip ups? I'll try that.
And another thing..I noticed that when I practice without a
harmonica, that is blow and draw and only imagine the harp is there, I
unintentionally whistle in and out the tune I'm playing. Not exactly
whistle, but that sort of breathy whistle that used to drive people
crazy, ya know? So am I making the notes subconsciously because I know
what the tune sounds like OR could it be that the way I usually shape my
mouth for each note happens to produce a whistle of the same frequency.
Whether the latter case is true or false, what effect does it have on the
sound when you position your mouth to whistle the very note you are playing?
Spence Pearson pearsone@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cybermensch University of Colorado, Boulder
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